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296

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Pencil Sketches in Rome - 2. The Carnival

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296 ROMAN DA YS.
ever took upon a steep hill. These paintings, in respect
of art entirely without pretension, have power, neverthe-
less, to attune the soul to a key strangely discordant with
the carnival rejoicing. They represent the rests
—" the
stations " as they are called—in Jesus’ walk from the
house of Pilate to Golgotha. Here, he bears his cross.
I know that in the next niche I shall see him sink under
it—that farther up I shall see the tree of life raised by
the executioners, outline itself against a cloud-covered
sky—and seized by feelings I shall not describe, I hasten
my step. Who has not increased the burden upon those
shoulders? We all have done so. And now, I am finally
come to the end of the street.
It leads out into a little square, if I may so call a de-
serted place, hedged in on all sides by windowless walls.
In that on the right, is a gate bolted and locked with a
mighty lock. It is, indeed, "Villa Mills," the French
nunnery, that hides itself behind ; the cloister under the
walls of which, the key to the entire topography of the
Palatine yet lies concealed. In the wall opposite me a
little door is to be seen, and in front of it a figure, dressed
in a brown cloak with a collar and cap. The bald head is
crowned with a thin circle of hair, a rope girds his loins,
sandals are the covering of his feet. So, a Franciscan
monk.
We bow, and he opens the door with a gesture of
friendly invitation, to which I respond. And now I
stand in a dark corridor. On the right and left, yet
darker corridors, leading to cells, where he who lately
bathed in the radiant sunlight scarce can distinguish the
wooden benches, their only furniture, or the images of
Christ, sole ornament of the naked walls. The cells are
vacant, except one, where two monks sit talking in whis-

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